FW Inventions Competition 2021: Purpose-built 24ft trailer

Intermediate category third place

Andrew Patchett and Paul Alderson’s lambing trailer

A purpose-built 24ft trailer designed by Andrew Patchett and Paul Alderson has transformed the back-breaking job of loading ewes and lambs for transporting to summer pastures around Ripon, North Yorkshire.

It has the capacity to cart 24 ewes in plywood-walled compartments, with their lambs placed in raised boxes along the central spine of the trailer to keep them happy during the journey.

The ply partitions slot into place, so can be quickly lifted out for unloading and disinfecting.

The trailer is designed to fit down a 12ft passage with space for the doors to open tight to the shed wall or feed barrier, leaving the ewes no choice but to run straight into a compartment.

The doors can be hung on hinges either side to suit different housing setups, too.

See also: Video: All you need to know about passing your B+E trailer test

Cleverly, during loading and unloading, the whole trailer can be dropped to sit on the ground, leaving a lip of just 5in.

At the front, it is mounted to the tractor’s lower links, while height at the back is controlled by a vertical hydraulic ram.

When raised, the main body of the trailer pivots on pins that connect it to a beam at the front of the chassis. The rear section slides up and down on a central steel mast sandwiched tightly by heavily greased rub plates to eliminate movement.

Height is set via a spring-loaded plate that locates against one of three lugs to provide a maximum ground clearance of 60cm. This is released using a small hydraulic ram.

The trailer chassis is formed from one large 400x200mm box section girder, with an axle from an old tipping trailer welded close to the back. Running gear includes super single tyres and hydraulic brakes.

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